After being stuck inside all winter, it feels great to get outside and enjoy the warm weather by participating in summer sports. Don’t let back injuries keep you on the sidelines. Here are some tips on how to minimize your risk of back pain and injury while enjoying summer sports.
Use proper form.
Hold your lower abdominal muscles up and in to keep your body level while in the water. Try not to arch your back, as that can result in hyperextension. Also, be sure to keep your neck straight so that your head is aligned with the rest of your body, rather than lifted.
Roll your body to the side to take breaths.
Twisting your head to the side can cause neck pain. Instead, try to roll your whole body to the side, keeping your chin in, to take a breath. You can also use a snorkel to eliminate the need to move to take a breath.
Use swimming gear to avoid strain on the neck and back.
A kickboard or pool noodle can help you to maintain proper form while swimming by supporting your back. Goggles can also be quite helpful to keep water out of your eyes, so you aren’t having to turn your head to get the water out.
Warm up and practice swinging before starting the game.
Golf swings require a good deal of force and twisting of the lower back. If you can, try to go the the driving range before to warm up. Allow your muscles to warm up little by little by starting off with the smaller irons, working your way up to the larger woods.
If you’re new to golf, work with a trainer to develop your swing.
Improper form in your golf swing could contribute to lower back pain. Working with a pro can help you to develop the correct technique.
Take care when carrying and picking up your golf bag.
If you are carrying your own golf bag, make sure that you are lifting and carrying it so that the weight is evenly distributed. Look for a golf bag with two straps that will stand upright when set on the ground.
Make sure your form is correct.
Work with an instructor who can check your form and teach you the proper techniques. Serving can hyperextend the lower back, and an instructor can show you how to reduce your chances of back pain.
Use the right equipment.
Racquets should be fitted by a professional. A professional can help you find the right racquet for your hand size and the right weight so that you can easily maneuver it without putting any extra strain on your back and arms.
Make sure the bike is right for your body and the purpose.
Depending on the terrain and your experience level, a mountain bike may be better than a racing-style bike. You should also get your bike fitted to your body by a professional. An improperly-fitted bike can cause extra strain on your back by causing you to hunch forward.
Maintain strong core muscles.
Biking doesn’t help to strengthen the core muscles, which are necessary to help maintain proper posture. Adding core-strengthening moves to your normal exercise routine can help to relieve back pain by strengthening the muscles that support the spine.
Use the correct pedaling technique.
Your hips should not tilt or swing to one side. Your knees should remain straight, aligned with your hips and ankles. Proper form can help to reduce stress on your lower back.
Keep these tips in mind, and enjoy your warm-weather activities!